1. Chicken & Waffles – Batter & Berries
There are plenty of people who go about making Chicken & Waffles, but no one in Chicago does it better than Batter & Berries. No one. That’s probably what earned them a spot on the list of the Top 20 Chicken & Waffles in America. Well, that and a whole hell of a lot of ingenuity. You see, these aren’t your average Chicken & Waffles. To start off with, alongside a solid piece of Fried Chicken Breast, which is marinated for twenty-four hours, they actually stuffed the waffle with chicken as well. Next, they put a dollop of Maple Butter on top, which fills the role of syrup, and then they add a tangy sauce on top of the chicken to make it complete. The mix of sweet, tangy, and juicy are perfection. Oh, and the waffle is a Sweet Potato Waffle, which makes it even better. Pretty much, you need to get in and check it out. It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
2. The Trucker – Hamburger Mary’s
Now this is a big truckin’ breakfast! For anyone who’s either hungover or just needs to load up on as much food as possible, this one’s for you. The pancakes are literally bigger than your head, and you’ll have the choice of a plethora of sides. While there are a few lighter options, you’re not getting the full experience of this spot unless you go all in with the protein. Grab some ham, bacon, potatoes, and eggs to get the most filling breakfast you’ll find in Chicago. Oh, and grab one of the Bloody Mary’s. The only bummer is that you can only get it on the weekends, but you’re going to need some time to take this on anyway.
3. The Tiramisu Pancake – Wildberry
No need to save dessert for last with this one. In fact, this is both your breakfast and dessert. First off, this thing looks like a piece of art on a plate, which is unusual for a stack of pancakes, and we definitely appreciate the extra effort. That’s not to distract from the rich, complex tastes from the pancakes, though. They’ve captured the true essence of tiramisu, and that’s pretty badass for pancakes. Looks like they can literally do anything with pancakes these days.
4. The Filipino Breakfast – Uncle Mike’s
If you’re looking for something unique on your quest for an epic breakfast, look no further than Uncle Mike’s Filipino Breakfast. Sure, you could start your day with the boring routine of eggs and toast, or you could kick things up a notch with this masterpiece. Spicy Longaniza Sausage gets teamed up with tocino (a type of bacon), rice, and eggs. While sausage and bacon might be typical elsewhere, the spices and styles of these are something you won’t find in many places, and you truly have to try it to understand. There’s a reason why the regulars can’t stop talking about it.
5. Anything – Babycakes
You want to tell us where else you can get Pumpkin Cheesecake Pancake? How about a Cotton Candy Pancake? Oh, that’s right, you can’t get those anywhere else, but don’t fret, because Babycakes delivers everything you’ve ever wanted and more. How do they do it? Well, a lot of it all comes down to innovation. It’s pretty much like someone just woke up one day and decided they would create a pancake for every crazy idea that ever came to mind. With close to 100 unique pancakes in rotation, it’s no wonder why this food truck is one of the most popular in Chicago. Oh, and they cater. So there’s that.
6. Chilaquiles – 2 Sparrows
Oh, meaty chorizo goodness… how we love thee. There’s no better “south of the border” start to your day than this creation from 2 Sparrows. Topped with eggs, tortilla chips, fire-roasted tomatilla salsa, black beans, aioli, and your choice of chorizo or shredded chicken; this bad boy gives you a little bit of everything you need from a hearty breakfast. You have to love that feeling after starting your day with a meal this fulfilling.
7. Apple Stuffed French Toast – Southport Grocery & Cafe
C’mon, an epic breakfast list wouldn’t be complete without some epic french toast. In a world where everyone seems to get lazy with this classic, Southport still shows respect, and the results are impressive. You should probably brace yourself for this… on top of this toast, you get challah, locally-soured apples, in-house cinnamon cream cheese, streusel, and salted caramel maple syrup come together to leave you in a state you never thought you could achieve. Is food nirvana a thing? It is after trying this.
8. The Smores Pancake – Yolk.
Sweet mama in sugar heaven… this isn’t one for those without a sweet tooth. All this delicious, sugary pancake is missing is the fire. On top of the giant, fluffy pancakes rests a ton of graham cracker crumbles, which are then lined with chocolate and marshmallow sauces. They then top it off with tiny marshmallows to make it complete. To answer your question: No, you should not add syrup on top. This is all you need. Just pair it with a cup of coffee and you’ll be ready to take on the world.